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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 17, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> ifill: deadline day for filing federal income taxes arrived amid more political maneuvering and an ongoing debate over tax fairness. good evening. i'gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we report on the latest from the politicians, and examine the prospects for a meaningful overhaul of the i.r.s. code. >> ifill: then, margaret warner updates the trial of anders breivik, as the accused killer tells a norwegian court he acted out of "goodness, not evil" when he killed 77 people last summer. >> brown: from our "american graduate" series, ray suarez reports on las vegas schools making a hard sell to lure students back to the classroom.
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>> i was prey surprised. i didn't know that they were going to come to my house. it made me feel like i was actually important. like they actually wanted me back. >> ifill: we look at the final mission for space shuttle "discovery" as it headed this morning to a new home at a smithsonian museum just outside washington. >> brown: and we talk with adam goldman of the associated press, winner of a pulitzer prize for reports on post-9/11 surveillance in muslim communities by the new york city police department. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. in here the right minds come inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road,
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improving it in the cloud, all in realtime. it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together so business works better. >> citi. supporting progress for 200 years. >> bnsf railway. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: millions of american taxpayers scrambled today to get
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their returns in on time. the annual deadline came against the backdrop of a growing discussion about who should pay what in taxes. >> too many people no longer recognize that private wealth creation requires public investment. >> ifill: filing day 2012 brought protests and rallies around the country both for tax cuts and tax fairness. the issues are intertwined and have become key debating points in congress and in the presidential campaign. in recent days, president obama pushed again for tax fairness in the form of a so- called buffet rule. >> you might have heard of this but warren buffet is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. now that's wrong. that's not fair. >> ifill: the president wanted a minimum 30% tax rate on people making more than a million dollars a year. >> i'm saying you're bringing in a million bucks or more a year. then what the rule says is you
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should pay the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do. and if we do that, then it makes it affordable for us to be able to say for those people who make under $250,000 a year, like 98% of american families do, then your taxes don't go up. >> ifill: but the senate voting largely along party lines rejected that approach last night. republicans dismissed it today as little more than an election year gimmick. >> what we've seen happen this week with the so-called buffet rule is transparent to the american people. it pre-tends like they're not smart enough to understand exactly the gamesmanship that is going on here. and that the president is not serious about dealing with the big problems that the country confronts. >> ifill: senate majority leader harry reid replied that republicans were playing games of their own. >> while obstructionism remns the republicans' top priority, it's followed
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closely by throwing a lot of kisses to the wealthiest americans. >> ifill: but the tax debate continued along the presidential campaign trail today. republican mitt romney appearing in pennsylvania called again for extending the bush era tax cuts on the wealthy and for cutting income tax rates by an extra 20%. >> i know the democrats will day in and day out say, they're for tax cuts for the rich. it's like, no. i'm going to keep the burden high-income people, the same share of the burden it is today. if they pay x percent of the tax burden today, they're going to pay the same x percent tomorrow. >> ifill: it's not just the presidential election adding urgency to the tabs debate. separate tax cut packages for the middle class enacted under both the bush and obama administrations are also set to expire at year's end. all of which leads americans with one eye on a december 31 deadline and another midnight
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tonight. income taxes for 2011 are due two days later than usual since the 15th fell on a sunday and the 16th was a holiday in the district of columbia. online the link online, the link between death and taxes. a new study shows drivers are at greater risk of fatal car accidents on tax day. plus, we have resources for late filers. >> brown: and coming up, we'll examine the challenges of getting real reform of the tax code; plus, the murder trial in norway; the dropout problem in las vegas; the shuttle "discovery's" last trip; and the a.p.'s award for investigative reporting. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: congress vented more outrage and heard more details today involving wasteful spending at the general services administration. witnesses at the second of four hearings this week included robert peck, who's now been fired from the g.s.a. he insisted he had not known taxpayers would foot the $1,900 bill for a party he threw at a las vegas training conference.
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the g.s.a. inspector general, brian miller, said the trouble goes deeper than that conference. he told the hearing, "every time we turned over a sto, we found 50 more, with all kinds of things crawling out." the head of the secret service won support today for his handling of a scandal involving prostitution. a spokesman said president obama has confidence in director mark sullivan. at least one republican senator made a similar statement. sullivan is investigating allegations that 11 agents and some military personnel got involved with prostitutes in colombia, ahead of the president's arrival there last week. president obama is asking congress to let federal regulators crack down on speculators who manipulate the oil market. he said today he wants to strengthen supervision of markets and increase penalties for illegal activity. it was his latest response to the soaring price of gasoline. >> we can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the per seps of a shortage, and driving
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prices higher only to flip the oil for a quick profit. we can't afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of american families get the short end of the stick. >> sreenivasan: republicans dismissed the president's appeal. house speaker john boehner said regulatory agencies already have the tools they need to police the oil market. and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said the obama plan is just a political ploy. >> the president's goal isn't to do something about a problem. it's to make people think he's doing something about the problem until the next crisis. comes along. and that's the larger problem. that we've got a president who is more concerned with looking like he's doing something than in actually doing what's needed to tackle the challenges we face. >> sreenivasan: amid that debate in washington, the price of oil was up today, finishing above $104 a barrel. wall street had a good day, after strong earnings from coca- cola and several other major firms. the dow jones industrial average gained 194 points to close at
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13,115. the nasdaq rose 54 points to close at 3042. a majority of citi group shareholders voted on a non-binding vote. it was the first such protest by shareholders at any major wall street bank. for the record citi group is a corporate underwriter of the newshour. in afghanistan, president hamid karzai appealed to the taliban to halt their attacks and do more to bring about peace. insurgents linked to the taliban carried out an 18-hour assault on kabul over the weekend that killed dozens of people. militants also attacked cities in three eastern provinces. karzai addressed the taliban as "brothers" as he spoke in kabul today. >> taliban brothers, with the attacks in kabul which happened in your name, whether you did it or not, whether foreigners did it or you did it yourself, what benefit did it bring to islam and to
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muslims? what benefits did you bring to muslims and afghans? on both sides you killed muslims and you killed afghans damaging their economy, killing young people and damaging their religion. >> sreenivasan: also today, karzai insisted that a long-term agreement with the u.s. specify how much aid his government will receive. he said he wants a written pledge of at least $2 billion a year. british leaders pressed today for a full investigation in the murder of a british businessman in china. the chinese have suspended a communist party leader, bo xilai, and named s wife as a suspect. another top chinese official faced questions about the case as he visited london. we have a report from lindsey hilsum of independent television news. >> reporter: it was ostensibly a meeting about cultural ties, but the prime minister also had asked the number 5 in the chinese communist party hierarchy about the murdered british businessman neil heywood. he died in a chongqing hotel
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last nomberossibly of anidpoising. today the foreign secretary was eager to avoid accusations that the government had failed to press the chinese about mr. heywood until it became a scandal. >> we have demanded an investigation. the chinese authorities have agreed to conduct such an investigation. there's been a further discussion about that this afternoon. >> reporter: haywood's body was found in the holiday hotel on november 15 and cremated without autopsy. >> e heywood case h entered the judicial process. china is conducting an investigation. the investigations take time. i believe china will handle the case based on law and release information in realtime. >> reporter: the family was resented for its wealth and flamboyance.
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his son seen here on a chinese talk show and receiving an award while at oxford university. >> the great value.... >> reporter: he got his place at harris school thanks to neil heywood is a student at harvard. he hasn't been seen for several days now. neil heywood's chinese widow isn't talking to journalists. his car, with its 007 license plate, is still in the driveway of their beijing home. and his death is still a mystery. >> sreenivasan: those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. we look now at the tax system more broadly. where the problems lie and what it would take to fix them. for that we're joined by two people involveded in bipartisan efforts, alice rivlin is the co-chair of a debt task force at the bipartisan policy center. she also served on president
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obama's debt commission and is founding director of the congression many budget office. donald mar inis the director of the tax policy center. he has searched as a member of the council of economic advisors for president george w. bush and acting director for the c.b.o.. welcome to youoth. give me a quick sort of thumbnail on where there's general agreement as to the problems of our tax system. alice rivlin, a, b, c. >> hard to know where to start. it's too complicated for one thing. much too complicated. it takes people who have complicated economic lives a long time to fill out their taxes. the reason it's so complicated is over the years there have been special provisions of various sorts that have crept into the tax code which reduce the income that is subject tax. hat means that the rates tt everybody pays are higher than they would otherwise have to be to raise the same amount of
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revenue. >> brown: these people look for ways to bring their rate down. >> they do. it's perfectly legal. these things got into the tax code for various reasons. for example, the deduction of mortgage interest is there to encourage home ownership which people think is a good thing. but it makes the tax code more complex. it means that less income is subject to tax. therefore you have to pay a higher rate. >> brown: you picked complexity. another one? >> there's still so many left. it's harmful to the economy the way we have it design with relatively high tax rates combined with lots of tax preferences mean that people think a lot about tax policy when they're making economic decisions. sometimes that makes sense when the policy pursues a good economic goal. a lot of that turns out to be wasted economic effort. >> brown: speaking of social goals, you raised the deductions. a lot of these things were put in place for good reasons at least well-meaning reasons. >> they were. but some of them have very
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perverse consequences. come back to my favorite example of the home mortgage deduction. you wouldn't design a home ownership incentive to have it aid higher-income people more than lower-income people. but this one does. because higher-income people pay higher rates. they have more expensive houses. so the benefits of the home mortgage deduction go very heavily to upper-income people and don't help middle-income people much at all. >> these things become ingrained. just to beat on the mortgage deduction. it rewards you for going into debt, not for having a home. it's nothing something that is designed to pursue a good social goal. it has defenders. whenever we hold events on the mortgage interest deduction we can count on an audience filled with realtors. >> brown: what would it take today to have... everybody talks about real tax reform. now, what does that mean? do you want to start with... what would it take? what must be on the table? >> i think reviewing all the
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various tax breaks and looking at em very, very critically ecidg one on to keep, which ones to go and which ones to redesign, any fair approach to that would say you could get rid of a lot of them. you have a bunch of revenue that you can use for a combination of reducing definites and lowering tax rates. >> brown: we talkd about the home mortgage. the other two most, the biggest ones, right? >> state and local taxes are deductible. that has variable consequences depending on where you live. >> brown: employer medical. >> a big one that most people forget about is that the contribution to your... that your employer makes to your health insurance are not part of your income. that means that you have an incentive to choose health insurance over higher wages. that's not always good. >> brown: but these are very popular things, right? >> they're popular things by themselves. but if you got rid of or phased out or phased down a
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lot of these special provisions, then you'd have another popular thing which is lower rates and a simpler tax code. >> brown: is that sort of an reed-upon al, lower rates but a oader base? is that the idea? >> that's the standard talking point of any public finance economist. there's a debate about how low you can go on rates because one thing we haven't mentioned thus far is another problem with our tax code is it doesn't raise enough revenue to pay for what looks like future government spending. >> brown: that's the standard talking point then what happened? >> it will create winners and losers. the losers are much better at identifying themselves than the potential winners. >> brown: that's also a standard talking point for politicians as well, right? >> yes. it is. i'm the eternal optimist. i think if you had a determination to do a serious reform so that in a sense there were a lot of losers but
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you came out with a much better code, then you could mobilize support for that. but as donald says, it would be hard. because with a home mortgage, you have all the builders and lenders who are for it. if it's the health insurance, then you have all the insurers and the people who already have very generous health insurance compared to their wages who want to keep that. because they already have it. though they might actually, if given a choice, rather have higher wages. >> brown: you're suggesting a lot of losers. meaning? it's broadly felt? >> well, yes. there would be a lot of losers because you get rid of a lot of small deductions and quite technical things that we haven't even talked about bu which people have a stake in. so everybody would gang up and say you can't do this and this to us. but if you were doing it to a
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lot of people and you got a better tax code in the bargain, it might actually fly. the reason in part that donald mentioned we do need more revenue. we can't solve the problem of our looming deficit on the spending side alone. all of the commissions and committees have come out and said we have to do both. we have to do less spending and raise some more revenue. >> brown: that means looking at things like charitable deductions. that means looking at things like the retirement tax-free benefits. do you buy that kind of broad... "lots of losers" approach? >> they're going to be winners in that you're going to end up with a better tax system. >> brown: people won't feel it right away. they'll feel it more as losers. >> that's right. again this is one of the reasons why these reforms pair these changes with some reduction in tax rates so you have a tangible benefit that you can offer peop. also putting america back on better fiscal trajectory of something that will be better
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for all of us. >> brown: are you as sanguine as alice about the political politics of that, the possibility of getting something.... >> i try to be but it's a little hard. over the last few years i've come to appreciate more and more the ability of our system to push problems off for another year or another year. up wouldn't rule out the possibility that this is, you know, a long can-kicking process even though i hope that we have an epiphany and do a big deal. >> brown: it's complicated because by the end of the year we have even more deadlines hitting us, right? >> oh, yes. at the end of the year we have some kind of quintuple witching hour when the bush and obama tax cuts expire. this thing that we've done with medicare called the doc- fix. that expires. the alternative minimum tax expires. everything happens at the same time which is a crazy way to make policy. but something will have to be done either to extend those provisions, at least for a
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while, or to fix the system so it's more sensible or both. >> brown: alice rivlin and donald marin. thanks so much. >> ifill: now, the details of last summer's mass killing in norway play out in court. we begin with a report from martin geissler of independent television news in oslo. >> reporter: this was the day anders breivik had been waiting for: his chance to defend the seemingly indefensible, to share with the world the beliefs that drove him to commit mass murder. he seemed to be relishing the moment. seeking eye contact with the public benches. he spent years preparing for this platform and killed 77 people to get it. but as he was called to take the stand, the cameras were turned off. the court's authorities have a
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balance to strike here. while they want to limit anders breivik's exposure they won't censor him. while we can report on what was said inside this courtroom we can broadcast the picres. for more than an hour, he read from a 13-page statement, painting himself as a national hero protecting the white native norwegian. brutality is not necessarily evil he said. it depends on your motivation. i was trying to avert a major civil war in europe. my actions were based on goodness. he said many others shared his opinions but their voices are suppressed. the last time there was real democracy in europe, he said, was when hitler came to power. of his victims he said they were not innocent non-politil childr. ixecud the people to strike at our multi-cultural ideology. we can't wait any longer, he said. i'm the first drop of water signaling a coming storm. breivik said he toned down his rhetoric out of respect for the victims.
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many of whose families were sitting just feet away. breivik's every move and every word are being studied by a panel of psychiatrists in court. his mental state is central to this case and will determine how he's punished. he'll stay on the stand under cross-examination which could last another four days. >> ifill: margaret warner takes the story from there. >> warner: brevic capped off a day of chilling testimony, telling the court, "i would have done it again." for more on the trial and the tragedy for norway, we go to anders tvegard, the u.s. correspondent for the norwegian broadcasting corporation. mr. tvegard, welcome. thank you for joining us. first of all, here you have a defendant who has admitted what he did and has said it was justified. so what is it exactly that this five-judge panelhat's ruling on th ce, hearing a ruling on the ce, is to decide? >> the killer, he claims self defense.
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he says he would have done this again if he had the chance. he shows no remorse. the question here is whether he should be judged sane or insane. that's one of the biggest questions of this trial. >> warner: so those psychiatrists that are in the courtroom are there to advise the judges on this? >> ll, they have already ma a report. actually two reports. one concluded that he is insane. the other group concluded that he is sane but he has serious mental disturbances. now it is up to the court to decide whether he should be judged or not, meaning that if he's insane, then he will be getting psychiatrical help. if he is sane, he will get criminal... he will be sent to prison. 21 years in prison. >> warner: i unrsta that uld be eended. 21 years when he's only 31,
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doesn't seem like very long. >> no, he will never get out of prison. no matter what. >> warner: let's go back to this insanity-sanity line here. usually in a trial it's the defendant and the defendant's lawyers who are arguing that... they want to have the defendant found insane. here the situation is this defendant, breivik, is insisting he be found sane. why is that? what's the strategy there? >> he wants to be taken siously. e belies in what he is doing. it's not only rhetoric like far right extreme parties in europe have. he believes that the fight against muslims is... has already started. he wants to be taken seriously. if he is found mentally... if he is found insane, then he will not be... his so-called followers-- he says he has followers-- then they will not
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believe him that much. he wants to be judged for his criminal acts even though he says he did this in self defense and that he would do it again. >> warner: from talking to your friends and colleagues and reading the media back home, what has been the reaction to the onset of this trial? >> norway is now taken back to those horrible hours and days last summer, july 22 and july 22. and it's the national grief and sorrow is back. at the same timeeople are listening to what he's saying. thinking how is this possible? can he really mean that? to some, it is good to hear that he is a complete lunatic. his views have no resonance in the rest of the public. he does not belong to a political party. it is not like a 9/11 where you have a big group of
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believers in norway or followers to his dream. >> warner: but has concern been expressed that is, even thoughhat saiisn't televised, that this trial is giving him a platform to air his views? >> yeah. there are no audio or video of his statements. but it will be written out. you can see it on the internet. and also this trial is broadcasted all over norway to local courthouses so that the relatives and the families of the victims can see and hear him if they want to. that it's a closed trial for them. but he can see the details still. buthe court does not want to be a platform for his extremist views. >> warner: has there been discussion within norway that the openness of this trial is giving him that platform. in his mantfesto he posted online just before doing the deed he said something like
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you're urging others to do the same. your trial will be your world stage. >> there has been a lot of discussion, how to cover this. my company, norwegian public badcaing, h decidedo opt to mute some of the audio. there are gruesome details of what had happened. it's too close for us in norway. while other media, international media, might broadcast more of it. but his statement is not being broadcasted in the video or audio at all. only like the written reference which some media they do refer. because what he's saying is people really wanted to hear what is going on in his mind. to them it's comforting to see that he is a maniac. >> warner: anders tvegard, thank you very much for joining us.
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>> brown: next, another in our series looking at the dropout crisis in u.s. schools. tonight the nation's fifth largest school district has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, and is trying to do something about it. from las vegas, ray suarez reports for our "american graduate project."
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citywide push known as reclaim your future, targeting dropouts in clark county nevada where nearly half of all high school students fail to graduate on time. >> i know in my own life, you know, when i've made a poor decision, usually i'm a little bit ashamed of my decision. i'm not wanting to face the music or face somebody saying why. but the whole point of our effort wasn't to do anything other than say you're loved, you're wanted. please come back. >> suarez: one of the dropouts wilson and his team found was isiah kimbow, a senior who stped ming to school only a feweekintohe yr. >> i was pretty surprised. i didn't know they were going to come to my house. it made me feel like i was actually important. like they actually wanted me back. they said they'll do anything for me to come back. basically get my diploma. >> isiah was embarrassed that we were there. but just a wonderful young man. getting the commitment for him
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to come back to school and explaining the importance of having a high school diploma was huge. >> suarez: wilson came to the school in 2010 when it was one of the worst performing high schools in nevada, a state that ranks second to last in the nation ahead of only the district of columbia in graduation rates. that year the school was designated a turn-around school by district which brought financial aid from the u.s. department of education but meant 50% of the staff had to go. deputy superintendent pedro martinez said the district was looking for dramatic changes at the high school that was graduating roughly one in the stentst the time. >> you know, the school is an interesting story. almost 100% poverty. almost, you know, vast majority are latino students. i started in the district in may. that was one of the first school i went to go visit. i wanted to see for myself. we decided at that point we were going to turn it around. if you went to go see that
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building, frankly, it was not a clean building or a building with a great learning environment. >> suarez: clark county's efforts appear to be working for students like kimbow who isow on track to graduate by june and hopes to one day go to art school. but an uphill battle remains for las vegas which finds itself still reeling from the hand it was dealt by the recession. for a long time this was the fastest-growing city in the country. casinos drove employment. employment drove housing starts. and those twin pillars, construction and entertain many, meant las vegas was one of the places you could come in america with very little education and make a decent living. but when the recession hit and the tourists stopped coming and the bottom fell out of the housing market, this city became one of the capitals of american foreclosure and showed people just how vulnerable they were without an education. >> the competition is fierce. in las vegas. >> reporter: barbi planned to
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graduate from high school with the class of 1984. she says she grew up in an abusive household and never earned a diploma after running away. >> your first priority in this town is to try to get something in the gaming industry. when i realized i couldn't achve that, i went to the secondest which is food and beverage. >> suarez: she and her daughter, who is also a high school dropout, are now taking on-line courses together in hopes of completing their ged geds. the family was hard hit by the recession. the women are hoping that more education will boost their prospects in the future. >> we were homeowners and because i lost my job in the casinos because of the downturn of no one coming, we couldn't afford our mortgage. so like countless other people in las vegas, we're representers again. ... we're renters again. we're blessed to still have a roof over our head. a lot of people don't have
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that but it's taken a long time to see the end of the rainbow. >> suarez: even on the day we were talking with her, the end of the rainbow seemed elusive. >> i am on my way to a banquet server position on call, and i just found out my shift was canceled. so (sighing) they offered me a shift tomorrow which pays substantially less than what a dinner shift pays but i'm lucky at least they offered me a shift for tomorrow because it's pretty standard to get canceled with nothing to replace it. >> suarez: it's a frustration the las vegas chamber of commerce is well aware of, and the chamber ceo says the employment game has already changed for led educated workers. >> the hotel casino jobs, the vat parking bs tse sorts
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of things that were very popular among the younger generation, felt they didn't need high school graduation, a college education, those jobs now are being held on to by people that have been at those properties for a very long time. there's not likely going to be many openings in those areas for high school dropouts. >> we've got a couple of things that neeto happen for aduation. twpriciency examwe hav to pass. >> reporter: aiming to entice new businesses to town, the chamber is now partnering with the clark county school district as part of the "reclaim your future" initiative. they work together to connect mentors from the business community, likjared from the bank of nevada with high school seniors like montell in hopes of getting the teens across the finish line to a high school diploma. >> remember what our goal is? for fourth quarter? get a 3.0. >> i've been working on that
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too. >> suarez: on top of getting the community to to ecking nice the need for a mo educated work forc martinez says his district's efforts are starting to pay off in the classroom as well. as proof he cites the freshman class back at the high school under the leadership of dave wilson. >> what are you reading? >> in ninth grade he has right now more children that are on track with credits than in the history of that school. in the last ten years. for us, when we look for a turn-around we're looking for things that change the culture, change the learning environment. we want to see early indicators of it going on the right track. >> suarez: it's the type of bet the city of las vegas is known for. taking a chance on a once failing high school, knowing that what looked like a long shot would end up paying off in a big way. >> brown: online, we have a story about how the recession has led out-of-work adults in las vegas to go back to school. the "american graduate project" is a public media initiative funded by the corporation for
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public broadcasting. >> ifill; and to a sight that captivated people in and around the nation's capital this morning: the space shuttle flying through normally closed federal airspace en route to its last mission. cameras and crowds greeted discovery as it soared over washington this morning, flying piggy-back style atop a boeing 747. >> could not believe i was seeing what i was seeing. once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a space shuttle coming in. >> it was so wild that my ears kept making that noise over and over and over and over again. >> ifill: it was the final flight and the last hurrah for the 100-ton spras craft. landing at de los international airport and bound for retirement and permanent display. discovery completed its active service career in march, 2011,
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after 39 missions and multiple milestones. it carried the hubble space telescope in 1990. and later ferried john glenn, the first american to orbit the earth back into space at the age of 77. >> 2, 1. >> ifill: after the challenger and columbia disasters it was discovery that revived the program for nasa. newshour science correspondent miles o'brien spent the day at kennedy space center in florida which he says has been hit hard by the shuttle's end. >> the goal from the outset for the shuttle program was to provide cheap, reliable access to space. and it did neither. it's a complex craft. an expensive craft. and ultimately we lost two crews, 14 men and women, whom we lost along the way proving itself to be not a very safe way to get to space either. on a lot of fronts the shuttle fell short. the main reason you have a space shuttle is to build an international space station. there is an international
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space station orbiting our planet thanks in large part to the space shuttle. >> ifill: discovery is now headed for the smithsonian institution national air and space museum just outside washington in chantilly, virginia. it replaces the prototype orbiter enterprise bound for new york city's intrepid sea, air and space museum at the end of the month. a second shuttle, the endeavor will eventually make its home at the california scien ceer ilos anles. and a third, atlantis will be displayed in the location where it all began at the kennedy space center. but with the shuttle's grounded for good, the future of u.s. space travel, whether private or public, remains uncertain. >> nasa pushed very hard under the obama administration to focus on giving the orbit over to small entities to try to make a business oft. nasa currently involved in a project to build a... what they call a heavy lift rocket
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which could take the space agency some day to an asteroid or perhaps even on to mars. but a lot of people would look at the money spent on the commercial side and the money spent on this big, heavy-lift rocket and say that there's not enough budget for either program. >> ifill: in the meantime, the first space x-flight to the space station on a cargo run is slated for april 30. and for more on all this, we're joined by valerie neal, a cutor the smithsonian's national air and space museum. how has the shuttle program after all these years, all this time, a collective 12 months up and down, how has it transformed our notion of space exploration? >> i think the space shuttles served three real purposes for us. one was it was a very ambitious attempt to establish routine space flights, create a sense that people could go into space, live and work, do useful things there. but the flip side of that coin
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was that the two tragedies reminded us that the space flight may never be routine due to the inheerpt risks. >> ifill: this idea that we would go back and forth it would be like commuting to go back and forth in space, that we had to let go of. >> not really because we continued to do it. after both of the tragedies. and the 135 missions and 30 years is a pretty good commuting record. t i think we can no longer take for granted that it's perfectly safe. i think the engineers and managers knew that all along but the public was lured into the idea that this was going to be so easthat all the re of might have a chance to go into space t. and that isn't going to happen for a while. >> ifill: not for a while. miles was just mentioning the space station and how the fact that it is up there orbiting the earth proves something major was achieved. what happens to the space station now with the shuttle fleet to service it. >> it will continue in operation but it will be serviced by much smaller vehicles. russians and then small
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automated supply craft. it will not be able to receive major components anymore because there's no big space truck anymore. >> ifill: how was it decided where these retired vehicles, space craft would go? >> nasa solicited applications from interested museums and had everyone fill out their proposal, their application. >> ifill: did they get a lot? >> i don't know. i was not on the inside of that. i only know what i heard in the media. but evidently they evaluated those and decided on suitable sites. they seemed to have had a reference for... preference for major population centers with high tourism rates. >> ifill: museums that already were existing and drawg people. >> rig. and in locations that would draw a maximum number of visitors. >> ifill: if i am taking the kids to go see the space shuttle or the adults to go see the space shuttle, what do they see? >> they'll see at our facility the space shuttle in parked or
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landed configuration. the payload bay doors will be closed. and it will look as if it's just returned from a mission. but the big difference between discovery and enterprise is that enterprise looks pristine and discovery looked well used. >> ifill: enterpse ithe orbir that is ere w. >> tt's correct. it was the prototype, as you said. it never flew in space. only flew in the atmosphere. but discovery has been to space and back 39 times. it looks like it. it's more beige than white and more charcoal gray than black. >> ifill: do you get to go up side if you visit it? >> not directly but indirectly through a wittial reality experience. you'll be able to go inside and command it. >> ifill: today when this was flying around washington i know we got very excited here. we looked out the window and saw it going by. did you notice this reaction and think to yourself, gee, the idea and romance of space flight is still alive in the public mind? >> i think so. i think it's probably a surprise to everyone how the public turned out today with
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such enthusiasm. and it's quite clear that americans are still very much interested in human space flight and very proud of their space shuttle. >> ifill: enough to imagine this ever returning to service or something like it returning to service? >> it appears that for the near future something smaller will go into service. i think it's likely to be a very long time before we see a big craft, a space plane. but what goes around come around. the space plane concept was popular in the 1950s. but we went into space in capsules. now we're going back to space into capsules but maybe some day there will be a jet that will go into space. a buck rodgers jet. >> ifill: that takes me back. valerie neal of the sith smithsonian, thank you very much. >> a pleasure to be here. thank you. >> brown: now, the fallout from a prize-winning investigation. a post-9/11 surveillance program by the new york city police
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department on muslim communities has raised calls for a federal probe, and sparked a debate over domestic intelligence gathering. it was first brought to light last summer in a series of reports by the associated press. yesterday, the a.p. journalists responsible for the story were awarded a pulitzer prize for investigative reporting. adam goldman is a part of that team and joins me now. congratulations to you. >> thank you. >> brown: set the scene for us a bit. how did this start for you and your team? >> as far back december 2010 and january of 2011, matt apuzzo who was on the investigative team with me, we started hearing terms we were unfamiliar with. moss-crawlers, rakers. a demographics unit. and we set about trying to unravel what those term meant. >> brown: what did you find? tell us a also bit about the scope of this surveillance program by the nypd. >> we found that the nypd had systematically infiltrated entire ethnic communities in
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new york city. and our investigation led us to believe that they weren't doing this based on needs but merely based on the fact that these people were muslim. >> brown: and they were looking at mosques, schools? tell us. what did that mean to infiltrate. >> basically how you would live. they looked at where muslims shopped or where arab shopped. where they prayed. where they ate. and they catalogued these daily acts of life. >> brown: what surprised you as y starred to peelack yersere. >> whasurpsed washe extent of the infiltration. the other thing that surprised us was the changing... the evolution of the nypd's narrative. at first mayor bloomberg had said that we don't do this by religion. and ray kelly, the police chief, said we don't do this by ethnicity. in fact, we obtain many many
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secret nypd documents that demonstrated they were doing exactly this. >> brown: now you and your colleague... you're based here in washington. i gather your intelligence i guess is spending more time on the c.i.a.. now there was i guess some questions about the c.i.a.'s involvement or relationship to this program. >> yes. after 9/11 george tenet who was then the director of the central intelligence agency sent a c.i.a. officer to assist the nypd. this particular c.i.a. officer was the architect of these spying programs. >> brown: and then there were further questions about the program leaving the jurisdiction of new york ci asell,ight into new jersey and connecticut. >> that came to a real head in january after we exposed the fact that the nypd had infiltrated newark as well and applied their same counterterrorism tactics there.
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>> brown: meaning into the communities. >> into the communities going to the mosque. at least one instance we found treating mosques as if they were a criminal organization. taking pictures of people's cars, photographing who went into the mosque. the mere act of being a muslim was almost as if there was a crime. >> now you mentioned the response from the mayor bloomberg and the police chief ray kelly. they're saying this is, you know, i mean it evolved as you said. this is within legal bounds. this is a tough job. they detered terrorism, right? >> the nypd says they did deter terrorism. they have a certain narrative that they use. they say that we've managed to thwart many attacks. as we looked at what they say they thwarted we found in fact itasn't the case. for instan, ifou jt take a look at the times square bombers shahzad, that was a person that the nypd had
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missed or the one who tried to blow up the subway in 2009. it was the federal government that uncovered that plot. that led us to ask questions about, how effective are these programs if they've missed the most serious plot directed in new york city since 9/11. >> brown: your series, i gather, raised a big debate about the whole issue of community profiling, ethnic profiling. hat hacome from it >> well, a couple things have come from it. i think our story laid bare the fact that the muslims in new york city don't have much of a voice. they have taken to our stories as a reason to mobilize. and the other thing is eric holder the attorney general said he's reviewing complaints from the muslim community. he said he had presumed read reports or read our stories. he was disturbed by what he found. bro: itontinues?
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i mean, the program. >> as far as we know the nypd is unapologetic. politicians in new york city are unwilling to ask the questions. is this an effective use of tax payers' money? does any of this work? >> adam goldman of the a.p., thanks so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, a look at the controversial world of forensic science. the "washington post" today reports hundreds of potentially innocent people in this country may have been convicted of crimes because of flawed forensic work. tonight on "frontline," correspondent lowell bergman joins with pro publica in investigating some specific examples. here is a portion of that report. >> for over a century fringer prints have been used to identify criminals from petty thieves to international terrorists.
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in 2004, a series of explosions in the subways of madrid killed or injured nearly 2,000 people. when the dust settled, the spanish authorities found several partial fingerprints on a bag of detonators. >> the police did not identify anybody to those prints so they sent the prints to enter poll who then forwarded them to the f.b.i.. >> reporter: melissa gish is a fingprint expert at the legendary f.b.i. laboratory in quantico, virginia. >> the examiner analyzed the prints. he ran them through the system. >> reporter: in this case, the examiner found a match. >> yes. in this case the examiner effected an identification. >> reporter: the f.b.i.'s identification led them to a suburb of portland oregon where a young attorney was
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working in his office. >> i got an unexpected knock on the door. i cracked the door open. there was two individuals, a man and a woman, and they identied themsels qukly that they were f.b.i. agents. >> reporter: the f.b.i. examiner determined that this finger print, found in madrid matched a print taken from brandon mayfield when he was in the military. >> they proceeded to push through rather forcefully, to handcuff me. it was just unbelievable. it was surreal. i mean one minute you're sitting there. you've taken your kids to school. you've said have a good day and be a learning super star and you're working on your case in your office. the next minute you're heading downtown inuffs and people arsearching u for blasting caps and detonators. >> reporter: for generations the f.b.i. and their fingerprint examiners have maintained that fingerprint identification is infallible. routinely testifying that they
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are 100% certain, and there's 0% chance they could be wrong. >> fingerprint examiners have been taught that there's only one person in the world who could have left this finger print. there's no scientific basis fothat. >>eporr: wt a cond there's no scientific basis for matching like a partial fingerprint? >> the premise is that no two people have the same fingerprint. that's the scientific premise. is that true? >> reporter: i thought so. >> has there ever been a scientific study to demonstrate that that is true? i don't think so. but even more important, how much alike do they have to be before you you say that that fingprincame from this person? what is the standard for how many points of comparison. >> reporter: what's the
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standard? >> it varies from laboratory to laboratory and from witness to witness often. some will say, we need 16 points. no, seven. what they all end up saying is that it's really a matter of the individual experience and judgment of the fingerprint examiner. >> ifill: "the real c.s.i." airs on frontline tonight on most pbs stations. >> brown: and again the major developments of the day. deadline day for filing federal income taxes arrived amid more political maneuvering and an ongoing debate over tax fairness. and the inspector general at the general services administration told congress that a probe of wasteful spending at the agency keeps widening. one of our producers is just back from a reporting trip to pakistan. her stories will be online. hari sreenivasan has a preview. hari? >> sreenivasan: up first is a portrait of the crowded city of karachi, struggling to cope with strikes and rolling blackouts. that's on our world page. plus, one more item fothis tax day: what's threlationship betweeyourax dollars and government revenues?
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find out on paul solman's making sense page. all that and more is on our web site, gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> citi turns 200 this year. in that time, there have been some good days and some difficult ones. but through it all, we persevered. supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. >> at&t.
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>> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chae to live heahy, oducve le. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioni sponsored by macneil/lehrer production captioned by media access group at wgbh
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